Aboriginal health care initiative gets $75,000 boost from CIBC

Continuing to close the health care gap between Aboriginals and other Canadians

TORONTO, June 30 – CIBC (CM: TSX;NYSE) announced today a new $75,000 pledge to Saint Elizabeth Health Care (SEHC) Foundation to support SEHC’s Aboriginal health care initiative, delivered through its 24/7 interactive web-based program, @YourSide Colleague(R). This brings the total CIBC commitment to this initiative to $125,000 since 2006.This Aboriginal health initiative assists First Nations communities to identify and respond to local needs in a flexible and cost-effective way, for long-term results. By building local capacity, the program is enabling First Nations people to receive more care and services, close to home, in their culture and in their communities.

“@YourSide Colleague offers around-the-clock access to a virtual network of peers and experts, as well as self-directed learning modules in areas such as cancer care, diabetes care, wound care, and palliative care. All that is needed is a computer, access to the Internet, and a username and password,” said Sue Williams, Chair of the SEHC Foundation.

“CIBC has a long history of contributing to organizations that promote the health and well-being of all Canadians,” said Christina Kramer, CIBC’s Executive Vice-President of Retail Markets. “We are pleased to make this donation that will promote a higher level of health care for Aboriginals in their communities across Canada.”

“We are grateful to CIBC for their continued support of this cost-effective method of improving health care delivery for First Nations communities in Canada,” said Williams.

“The health status of First Nations and Inuit people in Canada, measured by life expectancy and other indicators, historically has been much worse than that of other Canadians,” said Williams. “Many factors contribute to this, including income and access to education, housing and health care services. First Nations communities also suffer from a shortage of health care professionals. Few doctors and nurses actually live within the community and those who do, only stay for an average of 18 months. In addition to being geographically isolated, health care workers in rural and remote communities report a profound sense of professional isolation from their colleagues.”

According to SEHC Foundation, this online service reduces costs associated with orienting new staff and provides ongoing clinical education and skills development. First Nations in Manitoba, British Columbia and
Saskatchewan have identified it as an effective vehicle to support local capacity and First Nation-driven health programs and services. For example, following the launch of a new Cancer Care course in 2009, a pre-test revealed that 85% of registrants had no prior education or training in cancer prevention, education and care, yet 77% provided weekly care to community members with cancer.

To-date, millions of dollars have been contributed to support the development and expansion of this proven solution in First Nations and Inuit communities. As a result of the generosity of companies like CIBC, today more than 500 health care providers in over 200 First Nations communities and organizations have 24/7 access to the program.

About Saint Elizabeth Health Care

Saint Elizabeth Health Care has been an active participant in the development and delivery of community health care since 1908. Today, an award-winning organization and not-for-profit charitable leader, Saint Elizabeth Health Care employs nearly 4,000 multidisciplinary staff, shares its knowledge nationally and internationally through consultation, knowledge exchange products and services, and delivers 3.3 million home-care visits a year. The SEHC Foundation was established in 1997 and is dedicated to raising funds to advance knowledge and charitable initiatives related to home and community health care. It is especially interested in identifying and funding gaps in community care, which led to this Aboriginal health care initiative.

About CIBC

CIBC is committed to supporting causes that matter to our clients, our employees and our communities. We aim to make a difference in communities through corporate donations, sponsorships and the volunteer spirit of employees. With a strategic focus on youth, education and health, and employee commitment to causes including the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation CIBC Run for the Cure, the CIBC Children’s Foundation and United Way, we are investing in the social and economic development of communities across the country. In 2008, CIBC group of companies contributed more than $36 million worldwide to charitable and non-profit initiatives. Of this, more than $27 million was invested in Canada to support national, regional and local organizations. To learn more, visit www.cibc.com/pas

For further information: Doug Maybee, Director, External Communications and Media Relations, CIBC, Tel: (416) 980-7458, doug.maybee@cibc.com

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